DIZZINESS DURING PREGNANCY

dizziness during pregnancy

dizziness during pregnancy

Dizziness during pregnancy is quite a prevalent symptom, most women accusing headaches and dizziness during pregnancy at least once during their gestation period. Caused by a temporary malfunction of the cardiovascular system, pregnancy dizziness   isn’t usually a threatening one thus it shouldn’t be a reason of concern.

It is, however, indicated for you to visit your doctor immediately in case you are experiencing constant dizziness during pregnancy        and if accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.

Causes of Dizziness During Pregnancy

During the gestation period, all the internal systems undergo major changes in order to sustain the baby’s growth and development. The cardiovascular system expands quickly during the pregnancy 1 month, to fulfill the baby’s needs of nutrients and blood until his body starts producing its own blood cells.

Your blood vessels start dilating in order to adapt their shape to the additional amount of fluid your body will start producing in few weeks. As a consequence, blood pressure drops and this condition, called hypotension, is the main reason for dizziness during early pregnancy.

Pregnant women also experiences dizziness in pregnancy first trimester as the volume of produced blood increases. Your body has to adapt to the new situation and deliver enough of the vital fluid not only to your cells and tissues but also to the baby’s developing organs.

Heart starts to pump faster to supply all the organs with the proper amount of blood, so hypertension occurs. The increased blood pressure, referred to as preeclampsia, is another potential trigger for dizziness during pregnancy.

Risk Factors for Dizziness During Pregnancy

Starting with the second trimester, dizziness during pregnancy second trimester can be caused by one of the following risk factors:

  • The growing uterus exerts extra pressure on the blood vessels, reducing the flow to the brain and causing dizziness early pregnancy
  • Hypoglycemia or too low blood sugar levels also favor the onset of feeling light headed and dizzy during pregnancy
  • Too hot baths or spending too much time in a hot and humid environment can have the effect of feeling dizzy during pregnancy
  • Standing up too fast can lead to dizziness as when you sit down, your blood drops to your feet. By switching to the upright position, blood doesn’t always have enough time to return to your heart in the proper amount so this decreases blood pressure causing sudden dizziness during pregnancy.
  • Severe dizziness during pregnancy appears when you get out of bed too quickly, so it’s recommended to try to sit up slowly and maintain the position for a few seconds before standing out.

Remedies for Dizziness During Pregnancy

Standing in one place for a long time can cause feeling of light headed and dizzy in pregnancy so moving around and maintaining your blood in circulation by walking is a good solution for preventing occurrence of dizziness and fainting during pregnancy.

Wearing support stockings can also help stimulating the blood flow in the lower half of the body, making it easier for blood to reach the heart after dropping into the feet and thus avoiding extreme dizziness during pregnancy

Lying on your back is not recommended as circulation is altered by the pressure exerted by the enlarged uterus. So if you want to make sure your heart pumps the right amount of blood with the right speed, avoid this position and try to lie on your left side when staying in bed, in order to keep the uterus from pressing on important blood vessels. This will help to prevent shortness of breath and dizziness during pregnancy.

Make sure you maintain balance diet during pregnancy. Eat and drink enough as the lack of nutrients and dehydration also favor the occurrence of dizziness during pregnancy by the changes they trigger in blood’s consistency and composition. Eating small, frequent meals during the day and drinking water as often as you feel the need is one of the good Remedies for dizziness during pregnancy.

If you’re curious to know more about dizziness during pregnancy, take the time to read our other interesting articles on pregnancy symptoms, diet during pregnancy, weight gain during pregnancy, baby growth during pregnancy and early pregnancy signs

Last Reviewed on : 19/01/2013

Image credit: llspice1 (used under creative common license)

References

  • NHS – The Pregnancy Book
  • Pregnancy and birth sourcebook : basic consumer health information about pregnancy and fetal development … / edited by Amy L. Sutton. — 3rd ed. (Omnigraphics, Inc.)
  • The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth (World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.)
  • Prescribing in Pregnancy (Fourth edition) Edited by Peter Rubin and Margaret Ramsay (Blackwell Publishing)
  • Dewhurst’s Textbook Of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Seventh Edition)Edited By D. Keith Edmonds Ramsay (Blackwell Publishing)
  • Textbook of Diabetes and Pregnancy (Second Edition) Edited by Moshe Hod MD / Lois Jovanovic MD / Gian Carlo Di Renzo MD PhD / Alberto de Leiva MD PhD / Oded Langer MD PhD  (Informa UK Ltd)
  • Management of High-Risk Pregnancy An Evidence-Based Approach (Fifth Edition) Edited By John T. Queenan / Catherine Y. Spong / Charles J. Lockwood (Blackwell Publishing)
  • WHO-2000-Managing Complications in Pregnancy Childbirth A Guide for Midwives Doctors
  • Management of Common Problems in Obstetrics and Gynecology Edited By T. Murphy Goodwin MD / Martin N. Montoro MD /  Laila I. Muderspach MD /  Richard J. Paulson MD /  Subir Roy MD (Wiley-Blackwell)
  • WHO  – Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A guide for midwives and doctors
  • Mood and Anxiety Disorders During Pregnancy and Postpartum Edited By Lee S. Cohen, M.D./ Ruta M. Nonacs, M.D., Ph.D.  (American Psychiatric Publishing)
  • Maternal-Fetal Nutrition during Pregnancy and Lactation  Editors  Michael E. Symonds and Margaret M. Ramsay (CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS)
  • Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies (fifth edition)  Steven G. Gabbe, MD /  Jennifer R. Niebyl, MD /  Joe Leigh Simpson, MD (MOSBY)

Web References

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